Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Been absent for a while...

Haven't posted in over two years, although I have read a bunch of blog posts since then. Life has been in a bit of a standstill in some ways, other ways not. In some ways, things have recently taken a backslide.

I acknowledged last night for certain to myself, in the midst of crazy amounts of tears and the fifth time weighing myself that day that I indeed have slide back and if not fully there, am teetering on the brink of a relapse with the eating disorder. And one that could if anything go south faster.

The past year and a bit, I have had so many viruses and other infections, often basically back to back that things like my audition have been delayed-again. So far nothing specific seems to have caused my immune system dysfunction, although I am continuing to push for making sure nothing is going on either physically or with my house (such as mold). I blame my former roommates on destroying my immune system as until they moved in, I had never had anything like what has been going on. I mean, I may have even had honest to goodness influenza last winter, and I have never had that before. Summer was spent alternating between a few days decently okay and then dragging myself to work with low grade fevers for several days in a row. This has continued on, I had strep for my first time ever in March, and ended up having to do all of my psychology of music presentations while running fevers...

Not fun.

Anyways, the combination of illness creates stress, which creates more stress, which leads to more anxiety and depression, which has now led to control issues etc.

Which has led to food. Again.

Currently my weight is basically exactly on the line between anorexia and not. The struggle in my brain is awful. I see my bony shoulders for instance but then see the thighs. I feel my hip bones but then feel the pinch an inch thing.

In the past few weeks I have started to reach out to try to get help again, to keep myself from slipping further. Waiting to hear back from a dietitian, which was hard to find one that I could go to that is free (stupid postal code restrictions meant that I have basically nothing available to me. So wait list). I was told likely by mid June, although I haven't heard yet. I may try to get in contact, but I don't have the dietician's exact contact info. I just want to know a date.

In the midst of this, my wonderful doctor moved clinics and again due to crazy postal code restrictions, I could not follow her. The clinic I am at said a new doctor would be taking over at the end of January. Well, as of today, they STILL DON'T KNOW WHEN SHE WILL START. I started back on imipramine in February, with the goal of actually getting to a therapeutic dosage, but due to my heart we have to take it slow-only 10mg a month. I have been stuck at 20mg since the beginning of March-so I should basically already be at 50mg. I finally spoke up on my weekly clinic call (so, do you have the new doctor's schedule yet?) and stated that I had been started on a medication that was supposed to be increasing month by month, and it hasn't been looked at since early March. So tomorrow I am going in to see the physician assistant. I am both scared and anticipating it. I need to be honest with the PA...I haven't been able to take my iron since the strep as the antibiotics destroyed my colon, stomach etc and made me, shall we say, more painful. Iron isn't exactly easy on the stomach. To make a long story short, my hair is falling out a lot faster than normal, and I have dark circles under my eyes. So I need to have my levels checked. And I need to be honest that I actually have lost a touch of weight, that I am basically at 79.5 pounds, which is pretty close to a BMI of 17.5 for me. I am small framed, so my normal is not much higher BUT the fact that I have both lost weight and am getting where I want to do that more is, well, not good. And I need a medical professional to know.

Last night I spent three hours in tears. Even started googling how much imipramine I might need to end things. Even vaguely considered going down to the crisis centre, but I had already put on my pajamas and I couldn't bear the thought of getting dressed, and I sure as heck wasn't going to leave the house in pajamas.

Today has been better. I got the ball rolling on getting on a counselling wait list although it is likely to be 8-12 weeks, and if it is closer to that number, it will basically be when school is starting back and I can just use free counselling there. I haven't eaten enough today, and right now I am both physically and mentally scared to put much in. But I did get out and walk for quite a bit, in the sun, with a book. Distraction is the name of the game right now.

Life has a funny way of connecting when you need it...over the past couple of days, in my worst moments, I have been reaching out to as many of my friends as I could, not even necessarily bringing up just how bad things are but just to talk, connect. Of course by talk, I meant connect by text/message, but that's how it is. One of my closest friends from high school is studying in England for her master's right now. We drifted a bit in university, but today's chat solidified things once again. She randomly asked me a question about Zoloft, as she knew that I had been on it at one time. Then she revealed that she herself had had some issues the past couple of years. And she said something about how it looked like things were going well for me, and that she was really happy about that, and something about how she wished she could have been more understanding back during my roughest points. Well, the moment was right to say that things really weren't that great right now. But to reassure her that the support of my friends during those high school times was basically what kept me around at all. I both feel saddened by our conversation, as I did not know and wish I could have been there to offer my support to her, but glad that we have reconnected more-and we have a date for tea and dessert when she comes back in the fall!

Right now I am actually physically hungry and my brain is fighting a war, whether to eat or not. Both sides are terrified...

Until tomorrow-hopefully I will get back into blogging.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Today's Appt!

Well! Today's appointment went quite well-the best of the three I have had so far. The blood test went super fast and easy, and my ultrasound was nearly painfree, even the insertion of the ultrasound probe. The actual moving around was a little bit uncomfortable due to pressure but nothing horrible.

The shocking news of today? I was ready for the last step of the procedure, the HCG shot-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. This is the shot that matures the eggs for retrieval. Although I had heard from some that it hurts, it really didn't. I've got the rice pack that was in my freezer sitting on my leg however, and it is certainly chilling me, so maybe that helped?

Anyways. The injections are done. For anyone scared of injections, the actual injection is simple, and nearly painfree.

The stupid thing about the HCG injection is two part: One, you are given a bottle with 10ml of sterile water for dilution, yet you only need to draw up 1ml. Seems wasteful to me. Second, it is pretty much impossible to get ALL of the dose out of the mixing bottle because it is TOO BIG. Stupid. I tried for twelve minutes, and finally gave up with the last tiny bit. I hope that it is okay.

Anyways, it is done.

That part at least. Friday is the procedure, at approximately 9:30am, although I have to be there at 8am. Because I am somewhat complicated, what with my size, small veins, possible genetic narcotic sensitivity, and latex sensitivity, they wanted me there a bit earlier than normal. I'm glad they are taking my health into consideration!

I haven't felt super amazing today. Last night as I was doing my meds, I felt like my throat was weird, and sure enough, when I looked at it in the mirror, one side was red streaked. I've had a student coughing over me his past three lessons, and I would guess that is what is happening. So on top of being extra careful due to my big ovaries, a bit of fatigue from the meds, and some achiness all over (possibly from the meds, possibly from the virus) I now have a virus taking hold in my body! Ugh! If it could have picked a worst time, I think the only way it could have would have been for a flute exam. Seriously.

So I've felt tired, all-over-achy (my arms feel like I have been lifting super heavy weights, which I definitely have NOT been doing), a kind of wonky throat, some flushing/chills (normal when I first start getting a virus), and then some minor stomach issues, and my busy day...well...I am ready for bed! Today I have travelled ten kilometres TO the clinic, ten kilometres back, 14 km to my flute lesson, seven km to the university from there, and then twenty km back home. Whew! I had my appt, a flute lesson, a piano lesson, a voice lesson, and then went and picked up my meds. More than 14,000 steps have been logged on my phone in addition to all that travelling on the bus.

My short-term memory is sometimes a little bit foggy, so I have been compensating by repeating things in my lessons and what-not. It works.

Well, that's all for now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day seven of protocol

As of tonight I have now done seven days of injections. I use a 27 gauge needle which is tiny. Barely feel it going in. The steps however, are numerous.

Step number one: Grab rice bag from freezer.
Step number two: Wash hands.
Step number three: Apply ice bag to spot that you will inject the cetratide into. Tonight I remembered to do my stomach and so I tied my robe around the rice bag! Brilliant :)
Step number four: Assemble supplies. For tonight, this meant two pens of Gonal F, two injector needles for the Gonal F, the vial of powdered Luveris, the sterile water vial for the Luveris, a 22 gauge needle for mixing, a standard syringe, a 27 gauge needle for injecting, four alcohol swabs, a sterile syringe of water for the Cetratide, the Cetratide powder vial, a 20 gauge needle for mixing, and a (slightly longer) 27 gauge needle for the Cetratide injection. Whew!
Step number four A: Clean the Gonal F pen cap and the Luveris vials with alcohol swab.
Step number five: Dial the dose of the Gonal F (225 units). Put on the injector cap (remove the three protective layers!).Inject this into the Luveris powder vial. Check the dial to see if it has hit zero. If not, you need another pen. Tonight I did, so I had to get out a new pen and dial 50, then repeat the steps.
Step number six: Gently mix this by rolling the vial until all the powder is dissolved.
Step number seven: Attach the 22 gauge needle to the syringe.
Step number eight: Draw up 1ml of sterile water from the sterile water vial. Sometimes you may have to stop and release some air from the vial or else you may accidentally send the water all back into the vial and have to start all over again.
Step number nine: Inject this into the Luveris/Gonal F solution vial.
Step number ten: Gently swirl to ensure the meds are mixed together properly.
Step number eleven: Once they have been mixed properly, draw the meds up into the syringe with your 22 gauge needle. Follow same steps with air as above!.
Step number twelve: Cap the 22 gauge needle, remove from syringe and place in sharps container.
Step number thirteen: Attach the 27 gauge needle to the syringe.
Step number fourteen: Clean selected area (thigh or abdomen) with alcohol swab. Let dry briefly.
Step number fifteen: Uncap the 27 gauge needle, push out air (may have to tap syringe to get air bubbles up.
Step number sixteen: Quickly insert needle into selected area, which is being pinched with other hand. Insert ALL the way. Push injection in. To avoid leakage (which I had the first couple of days), I slowly count to ten, then release and apply a bit of pressure with a clean alcohol swab.

With the Luveris/Gonal F now done, I turn to the Cetratide. Cetratide is a medication that prevents ovulation, while the Luveris and Gonal F stimulate the ovaries to mature more eggs than the normal of one.

Step number seventeen: Clean off the Cetratide powder vial with alcohol swab.
Step number eighteen: Put 20 gauge needle onto Cetratide syringe (which is prefilled with sterile water) and inject into the Cetratide vial.
Step number nineteen: Gently mix together, making sure no powder remains.
Step number twenty: Draw up solution into syringe. As before, you may need to stop and get rid of air.
Step number twenty one: Remove the 20 gauge needle, cap, and place in sharps container.
Step number twenty-two: Attach the 27 gauge needle.
Step number twenty-three: Remove ice and clean the area (abdomen) with alcohol swab. Let dry briefly.
Step number twenty-four: Uncap the 27 gauge needle, push air out.
Step number twenty-five: Quickly insert needle into selected area, which is being pinched with the other hand. Insert all the way (this needle is slightly longer). Push injection in. This injection doesn't hurt persay, but it sort of stings/itches afterwards, along with swelling slightly. Therefore, I put the ice back on.
Step number twenty-six: Survey mess of both hazardous and non-hazardous material. Be amazed at how much garbage and recycling two injections makes...

Tomorrow morning I go back into the clinic for more ultrasound and bloodwork. Hope to see more follicles! Monday we saw seven, which seemed a bit disappointing to me, although the Dr wasn't disappointed. I hope I get one of the other two doctors as I wasn't super comfortable with Dr. L on monday.

Oh well. Seven days of injections down, which means I am at least half-way through.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Egg retrieval

So, I have been silent for sometime. Probably too long.

A lot of things have happened in the past two months.

#1: I finished my major area paper. That means that after five and a half years of university, all of the requirements for my degree are finished, and I will be graduating in May. Surreal.

#2: After waiting 18 days, I finally found out that I got an A on the paper, which was my goal. My advisor was actually somewhat negative in the comments though, which was somewhat confusing. Oh well. Done. I admit that it *was* a bit too long, and hadn't had much editing, so it was 66 pages long.

#3: Unfortunately, on March 7th, we lost one of our long-time music teachers. I will miss her deeply.

#4: I took my last birth control pill on March 14th. This was NOT to prevent pregnancy, but rather to regulate my cycle so that the clinic could plan when I would be starting on the stimulation meds. After several tense days of waiting, my body finally responded appropriately on March 18th, and I went into the clinic for ultrasound and bloodwork on March 19th. The results showed that I was 'suppressed', which meant that I started the injections of Luveris and Gonal F that evening. These are two meds that stimulate the ovaries to mature more eggs than normal (normal is one, on occasion two). They are given by injection, so over the past few days I have had a crash course in that.

So. The big #4. I have now done five days of injections of Luveris and Gonal F. Although I was shaking the first couple of days, the actual INJECTION action is pretty simple. A tiny 27 gauge needle is used, and it is virtually painless, providing I stay in the appropriate shot regions of my abdomen or thighs. Using the syringe itself is sometimes a bit trickier. Gonal F comes in a pen, which is great-you dial the dose and it's set. However, the Luveris comes in a powder. I dial the dose of the Gonal F, then inject it into the Luveris vial. THEN, I have to draw up 1ml of sterile water (provided in a separate tiny vial with my Luveris), and inject that into the Luveris/Gonal F vial. The sterile water bit is not quite as easy. Sometimes just when I think I have got all of it out the needle slips back (suction and all) and I have to start all over again. Same thing happens with the final mixing. The meds don't hurt going in, just a touch of pressure at the end a couple of times.

I have given five days of the meds, so today I was back at the clinic for a further ultrasound and bloodwork. Bloodwork went all right THIS time. My first appointment, the nurse refused to use a smaller Butterfly needle, and mangled my arm up a bit. Still a huge green bruise that is painful to touch. This time, the nurse came in with a Butterfly needle! I had been told by last week's nurse that they didn't HAVE butterfly needles. Today, when I saw her I questioned her on it, and she said "Oh, we have them, we just don't like to use them". THEN she proceeded to say "Besides, it worked okay with you last time". Right, except for nearly not being able to get any blood, and leaving me with a huge bruise and a very sore arm.

Ultrasound last week was okay. Internals are quite painful for me due to my size/sexual history (otherwise known as lack thereof). Today it was less pleasant. Last week, I had Dr. E, who was very gentle, patient, and took the time to explain things, point them out etc while still getting through the ultrasound as quickly as possible. Today, I had Dr. L...

It was less pleasant. Much less pleasant. I get told by the nurse to undress and get on the table. No problem. I proceed to do so, and then spend approximately TWENTY minutes there before he finally comes in! That was problem number one. So I'm already a bit cold and irritated. THEN, I have to remind him of my latex sensitivity as I see him putting a latex condom on the ultrasound wand. This is clearly written in my chart. NEXT, he is much rougher about the insertion, AND the actual procedure. He then questions me "Are you having sex?" Well, NO, that is why this is so uncomfortable. I *get* that a few women will still have intact hymens after sexual activity, but it isn't super super common. Mine is intact. Also, I do believe that all that info is ALSO in my chart. And yeah, I know that when I go through the procedure I'm going to have even a slightly bigger wand, but I also know that I'm going to be decently dosed with meds...Fentanyl and Versed aren't exactly Advil.

So overall...6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Last week's wednesday appointment was slightly more traumatic in that lack of sleep (due to nerves the night before that kept me up later than I should have been), severe morning headache for which I couldn't take Advil and which Tylenol only slightly dulled, nerves about the appointment and then having my green tea on an empty stomach sent things quickly down hill. One minute I was fine, the next I'm hit by sudden nausea, and the next I'm bending over in the washroom seeing it once again. Today I was much more careful! Went to bed earlier, woke up headache free, had a good blood draw, and had my muffin BEFORE my green tea! No upset stomach today thankfully.

Tonight I pick up two more days of Gonal F and Luveris, as well as Cetratide, which is a med to prevent ovulation. It means two separate injections, which is less fun, but doable. Hopefully Cetratide doesn't sting either. I go back on wednesday for more bloodwork and scans. All appts are first thing in the morning, so "same time, same station, same activity".

Well...that recaps the past month and a half. Other than my students' composition recital which happened yesterday!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Realized that I hadn't updated with some of the blankets that I have recently made...or perhaps not so recently, I think it may be several months.

Crocheted in Bernat Baby Coordinates 'Aqua-Lemon', I made most of this on my trip to PEI and Nova Scotia with my dad this past June. So I was right on the several months bit!

Crocheted in Bernat Super Value, "Lotus", I did this one during the craziness of upstairs renovations. Helped keep me sane...

Knit in Bernat Baby Blanket, "Little Sandcastles", it surprisingly looks like it could fade into my carpet! Corner to Corner blanket made with super bulky yarn, it knits up very quickly.

Another corner to corner blanket in Bernat Baby Blanket, Pitter-Patter and Baby Yellow.

This one is a Mary Maxim pattern, called Round and Round baby blanket. It looks more intricate up close, but was surprisingly quick and easy. The yarn used is Mary Maxim Sugar Baby Stripes, "Sour Apples".

 This one is another round blanket crocheted in Bernat Softee Baby "Peony Prints"

 This one is crocheted in Bernat Pipsqueak, Tattle Teal and Silly Sea

 I just recently completed this one, it is knit in Bernat Softee Baby from one of their newest pattern books, "New Classics" and combines three different stitch patterns. I knit it in Baby Blue, Little Boy Blue, and Little Mouse.

This was also crocheted this summer, a Round and Round blanket in Mary Maxim Sugar Baby Stripes, "Blueberry Burst".

Right now I am in the process of making (primarily) two blankets for friends-One is due any day now (37 weeks with a little girl with Turner Syndrome), and the other is for one of my best friends, although that one is a totally different story. I have many other smaller projects and other blankets on the go, when it comes to knitting and crocheting I am completely ADHD!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hormonal Washout/Mental Health Awareness Day

As anyone who has read this blog a bit knows, I have had my mental health struggles for some time. Probably nearing half my life, if not longer? Definitely by the time I was thirteen or fourteen years old.

Apparently it's Mental Health Awareness day, sponsored (of course everything has to be sponsored) by Bell. More than one friend of mine has shared something on Facebook. No one has been criticized, if anything, I see a great sense of support/pride.

Somehow I can't.

But, of course, for someone who couldn't tell their closest friend (from outside of the jr high/high school group that knew me during the most impulsive times) for more than three years after becoming friends about their darkest bit of past...

Putting myself out there...

I am tempted.

But scared.

Right now, I am also on the "week off" the hormones. While upping my imipramine dosage has helped the past three weeks be a bit less of a roller-coaster ride, coming off the hormones the past two days has been like a crash-and-burn event. Right now I am feeling SO sensitive emotionally. Or perhaps I am just extra tired. Probably both.

For this year, I think I am remaining silent. Which is sad, because it is just reinforcing the silence that is SO there. That on the outside we look great. On the inside, not always so much. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spinning, spinning, spinning

Right now, I literally feel as if I am spinning! Not dizzy, but in the sense that I am so tired from today, from this year, from everything that I am spinning around. The end of my long Wednesday. Wednesdays have been long for a few years now, this Wednesday took on a bit of a new character. Started with waiting for my 9:00am student to come this morning, which they never did. *Sigh*. The music teacher's top annoyance-students/parents who don't phone/email if they can't attend a lesson. Anyways, that was that start. Then the snowstorm started. Seems like Wednesdays have often had crazy snow this winter. Anyways...it was of course at it's worst right when I had I walk to catch my bus to downtown to catch the other one to go to my flute lesson. Typical. Flute lesson done, focused pretty well and got some good comments. Then the emails started coming in...setting up a meeting with my advisor for tomorrow about my paper. Back and forth on that to find a time that worked for both of us. Get that settled and then my voice teacher asks if I can change my lesson from 7:45 to 6:00. Okay, I can do that, although I have my piano lesson across the hall from 5:00-6:00, and it typically runs over time. It did, and not only that but she made WORK today (along with touching my arms more than I would like, but that is another story-touch sensitive girl doesn't like it but doesn't want to be rude...). Run across the hall to voice, haven't eaten since a brief snack at 2:15, and lunch before that was eleven, none of these food items were big (thank-you mucky digestive system...). I might not be 'hungry' as in stomach growling, but I am getting the biggest yawns you can imagine, don't have as much vocal power etc. Get through the lesson, finally get a chance to go eat something substantial (after taking my stomach med domperidone), and then the emails start coming in again. This time from the library saying that I had a bunch of materials that have just been declared lost. And that I therefore am owing hundreds of dollars. WHAT??????!!!!!! I have never run that fast across campus. Get that sorted out (computer glitch...) but by this point I am utterly spinning. My emotions today have also been on the down side, more than I would like to see at all, and that hasn't helped. Tomorrow promises to be a bit of a crazy day too, I have an appointment with th infertilty counsellor to make sure I am 'healthy' enough for the procedure, and then I go directly from that to talk with my advisor. I do have an hour of almost complete bussing in between, but putting two emotional events like that...well...I guess I am slightly crazy.

Now on the bus to downtown and worrying that I might miss my bus to my house as the bus to downtown is running slightly late. *Sigh*. Hopefully not, I just want to get home and chill out in bed...might need to wind down a bit before I fall asleep but I need to chill.